set the bar on human rights


Senior Member
Croatia - Croatian

I'm not sure what this expression means. Here's the context:
The EU must investigate the complicity of its member states in “renditions” of terrorist suspects and set the same bar on human rights for its own members as it does for other countries.

The only thing that comes to my mind right now is that it means "the same criteria related to human rights", but I don't know.
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Toadie is right, it means to insist on the same high standards for its own behaviour as it does for others.

    Setting the bar refers to the high jump in athletics. The bar is set at a higher and higher position so that it becomes more difficult to jump over, and only athletes of the highest ability can jump over it. It therefore means the creation of a high standard.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    Yes, your understanding is correct. The writer demands that the EU hold its members to the same standards as it holds other countries. There isn't any indication whether the writer regards these standards as high or low, just that they be equal for all involved.